When we first moved to Jordan, one of the first big differences we had to get used to was the electricity and water outages. Some nights the electricity would just shut off. Not Amman. Not our street. Just our building. That's just what happens. Other people have it too, and when the electricity goes out you can count on being left in the dark for awhile.
We light candles and get out our flashlights and settle down with books or Legos. I surround myself with pillows and settle in next to the fireplace which we fill with candles. We wait. Then in an hour, or maybe even three hours, the electricity comes back on.
Other times we run out of water. It's only for a day or two, but life on limited water isn't fun. No showers. Little cooking. And milk to drink. Then with a call to the embassy, we get a new tank of water brought over.
And then there's those rare times when the gas runs out. No hot water. No cooking with a stove. Have you ever taken a shower with freezing water? I have. It lasted about two minutes and left me shivering for quite a while. Cold showers are not fun. They're not fun at all. I feel bad for people that have only ever known cold showers.
Some people that live just a few miles away from me have no showers at all. They live on a bucket of water a day. They don't have heating for their houses. They don't have houses. Some are nomads that live with their herds of animals, bringing them straight through the city, traveling through Jordan. Some people can't have a house. Some people here live on one JD (which is equivalent to $1.40) a day.
And then here I am with a house, with water and heat and electricity. Sure, it goes out sometimes. A lot more than desired it goes out without warning. But I have no right to complan about it, because I've seen people that have it so much worse. People that would love to live in this house, with all it's differnet and unusual quirks from what I'm used to.
Life in Jordan has taught me so much that I can't learn from living in America. Besides teaching me how to do a radio check and read Arabic, it's taught me about how the things that I take for granted, complain about even, are everything compared to what others have.
I still complain. I still wish that things in Jordan were just like they were in America, but I'm learning to let go of that. I'm learning that the almost invisible things in my life that I take for granted are so valuble and so important.
I'm learning to treasure the things that I have, not wish for the things I don't.